After a long hiatus of our in-store promotions in Mexico due to COVID-19, USRPA reactivated the campaign last month. For safety precautions, adjustments were made to our process and the booths.
Following the safety measures and adhering to social distancing guidelines, the promoters educate the shoppers on the benefits of incorporating American long-grain rice into their diets and sharing promotional items reinforcing its nutritional value.
The total sales of American long-grain rice during the in-store promotions from October 15 to 31 was 16,805 Kilos or roughly 37,048 pounds. The promotional campaign will continue through December 2020.
First Sale of US Rice to China Sold Out in Weeks
The 20 tons of Calrose rice that arrived in China last month garnered positive feedback among consumers and importers.
The distributer, Sungiven Foods, sold the 5kg packages of U.S. rice under their private label, Sungiven US Calrose Rice, both online and in-stores. A social media page that was created to promote the rice includes a brief overview and history of the variety, including details about its growing environment.
Mr. Ray Zhang, Import Manager at Xiamen Mingsui Grains & Oils Trading Co. believes the majority of customers purchased the rice out of curiosity. He further commented, “We appreciate the support from the USRPA and their facilitating this business.”
The USRPA began working in China in the late 90s and then used the USDA-FAS’ Emerging Markets Program to launch the effort that established a phytosanitary protocol. USRPA continues a friendly relationship and open communication with buyers and looks forward to the next shipment.
Sabor USA Healthy Fest
The US Rice Producers Association and USA Rice participated Sabor USA's 2020 Virtual Healthy Fest on October 28th. The activity was organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote American products locally.
USRPA and USARF have coordinated efforts to participated in previous years. This year, due to COVID-19, the event went virtual for the first time.
Chef Ambassador Jesus Flores prepared a Countryside Style rice dish using American long grain rice, along with garlic, onion, chicken broth, olive oil and capers. The video recipe was posted on the Sabor USA fan page.
Watch the video below:
USRPA and USDA Working Together on Social Media Campaign in Mexico
US Rice Producers Association continues its efforts to enhance American long grain rice consumption in Mexico, this time with a program intended to create a gastronomic training experience by engaging consumers with professional chefs.
USRPA has been conducting cooking lessons through Facebook Live with the collaboration of Professional Chef Valeria Ochoa, teaching how to prepare delicious recipes with American long grain rice and constantly interacting with the viewers, solving their questions and advising them on different ways to include rice in their family’s diet. From a Rice with Chili to a Rice Pizza, USRPA followers have been learning amazing recipes to vary their rice consumption.
This series of lessons has been supported by USDA through the Agricultural Trade Office in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Director of ATO Monterrey and Luis Chavez, Marketing Specialist for ATO, stated his satisfaction with the current results and requested some of his favorite recipes to be included in the lessons.
The program will continue to perform for the rest of the year and will feature Professional Chef Melissa Morelos, finalist of Master Chef cooking contest and US Rice Producers Association’s ambassador in Mexico, who will teach traditional American recipes for the most demanding tastes.
Rice Harvest Underway in Heilongjiang Province
Harvest in Heilongjiang Province is currently underway for medium grain rice. The province is in northeast China and accounts for 6 million tons of Chinese medium grain production and is known for growing award-winning medium grain varieties, including Wuchang and Yanshou. Rice from the region is famous for its stickiness, sweet after taste and unique cooking properties thanks to its unique geographical location which provides a significant difference in day and night temperature and unpolluted soil.
The region from Ha’erbin all the way to Jiamusi has suffered 3 hurricanes this summer, causing lodging of soybeans and corn, while the majority of the rice crop survived. Typically, harvest in the region is completed in early October, unfortunately, recent wet weather resulted in a slower than normal harvest. Due to continuous rains, combines and machinery were not able to go into the fields, therefore most of the crop is dependent on labor harvesting, delaying harvest by another month.
USRPA has developed a friendship with the rice industry in the Heilongjiang Province and welcomes the opportunity to visit with members and allied industries in the region for future trade missions with China.
US Rice Master Class in Mexico Attracts New Followers
This week ended the first segment of the Master Class of American long-grain rice produced in Mexico by the US Rice Producers Association. During the first segment, Chef Melissa Morelos, MasterChef Mexico contestant, and finalist, presented various recipes from Latin America with American long-grain rice as the main ingredient. The Master Class was broadcast simultaneously on Zoom and via Facebook live on the Consume Arroz USA fan page.
The second segment starts September 7th and features chef Joaquín Quezada, Chief Instructor at the Valle de México University and Director of the International Hospitality, Cuisine, and Tourism Management Center for Studies. Chef Joaquín Quezada will be preparing his take on traditional Mexican recipes with American long-grain rice as the main ingredient. Currently, the fan page has a total of 16,369 followers of which 989 are new followers who have joined in the last month.
US Long Grain Rice Featured on Guatemala T.V.
On August 17, Roberto Wong, Executive Director of ARROZGUA was interviewed in Guatevision a Guatemalan public television operated by the National Broadcasting System, with general and educational programming, whose headquarters is in Guatemala City. Today, has a 75.5% transmit frequency at the national level.
During the interview, Wong emphasized the importance of ARROZGUA's promotion program “Pon tu granito de arroz” (Put your grain of rice ) as well as the campaigns of the US Rice Producers Association carried out in conjunction with ARROZGUA “School Nutrition Program” & “Marketing Strategies”. Due to the events that we have all faced due to COVID-19, the social media campaign has been the ideal platform to teach Guatemalans the best way to add American long-grain rice to their daily diet.
During the broadcast, chefs presented recipes using American long-grain rice and encouraged the audience to follow our fan page on Facebook. There has been a 90 % increase of followers on the page from July 31 to today.
The social media campaign continues with photos, cooking tips, and rice facts to mention a few.
USRPA's Rice Cooking Seminar is a Great Success in Guatemala
USRPA and ARROZGUA continue its success social media campaign. The interactive virtual cooking seminars, done in two stages, via Zoom has been shared on the Facebook fan page USA Arroz throughout June and July. The chefs demonstrated various rice recipes from around the world featuring U.S. grown rice, emphasizing its nutritional value and its ability to be easily incorporated into the everyday Guatemalan's diet.
U.S. Embassy Guatemala has been promoting the live cooking classes and inviting the audience to visit the USA Arroz Facebook fan page. The Facebook fan Page of USA Arroz increased 88% in the numbers of followers in the past two months and reaching audience all the way in Colombia, Peru, Mexico, USA, Argentina, Bolivia, and Ecuador. The social media campaign will continue until December.
USRPA's First Rice Master Class Kicks-Off August 3rd
USRPA continues adapting its promotional programs to continue expanding the message that U.S. rice is nutritious, economical, and the perfect grain for Mexicans diet especially during this time where COVID-19 is changing everyone's lives.
On August 3rd, we will kick-off the first Virtual Rice Class in Mexico! The webinar series consists of 5 modules with Mexican, Asian, European, Latin and, American dishes using U.S. long-grain rice. Melissa Morelos, Professional Chef, Influencer, and Finalist of Master Chef Mexico will be in charge of creating and sharing various recipes offering an innovative and different culinary learning experiences to the audience.
The classes will be uploaded on a free online platform where participants will need to login to attend the Master Class. USRPA, along with the webinar, continues with its social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram.